Marianna Hrynyshyn Marianna Hrynyshyn
Artykuły: 6
16 May 2022


Multiple organizations partner with recruitment firms to find the greatest talents. However, some of these partnerships lead to squandered resources instead of successful hires. Businesses’ unawareness of the questions to ask recruitment agencies before signing a contract is certainly among the reasons for failed cooperation.

Not every recruitment agency can offer the necessary expertise and is willing to assist you in fulfilling your business purpose. Hence, consider asking a future partner several questions to determine whether it can provide the best candidates, saving much of your time.

AboutHR has over 10 years of experience in the recruitment industry, and our experts have prepared a list of 4 questions to ask companies offering recruitment services:

What steps do you take before submitting candidates?

Many companies turn to recruitment agencies to save HR departments’ resources. However, it does not mean that internal employees do not participate in the recruitment process. They still have to identify a candidate persona before beginning the cooperation with an agency. After candidate submissions, they interview submitted candidates, make a job offer, and conduct onboarding.

A productive recruitment agency team does its best to save clients’ time by submitting only quality candidates that meet a predefined budget. It means the sourcing, screening, and interviewing steps are competently handled.

Therefore, among the questions to ask recruitment agencies, those about sourcing, screening, and interviewing are the most prevalent. Inquire about the sourcing channels and screening techniques your potential partner applies. Discuss the most crucial requirements each submitted candidate must satisfy. Ask about the expected time to fill a certain position as well as any possible difficulties.

It is vital to confirm your future partnering agency approaches its work professionally and uses the most up-to-date tools and techniques. Otherwise, there will be a risk of failed cooperation and wasted time.

What’s your interview process like?

Interviewing comes after sourcing and screening and requires a skilled recruiter. This stage reveals whether a candidate is worth being presented to a client. Therefore, another common question to ask recruitment agencies is concerning the interview process. Some recruitment teams send questionnaires to candidates, while others spend time having video calls.

Both approaches have proved adequate, though the most important thing is the questions recruitment agencies ask candidates. These questions should examine their hard skills, soft skills, and the desire to work for a new company.

First, after sourcing and screening talents, recruiters need to verify that they possess all the claimed hard skills. Second, recruiters should consider candidates’ soft skills, playing a critical role nowadays. Finally, they must check whether candidates are motivated enough to join the client’s company.

The best partners are the ones that clearly define their interview process and willingly share the questions recruitment agencies ask candidates.

Can you provide testimonials from other clients?

Undoubtedly, testimonials are an excellent way to check whether a future partner has enough expertise. Recruitment agencies that do not have client reviews to showcase are rarely fully trusted. In contrast, recruitment companies having many positive testimonials earn more trust and attract new clients.

However, check customer testimonials‘ credibility first, not letting them fool you. Does a recruitment agency provide a full name of a person who has left a review, their company, date, etc.? If yes, check whether this company is a successful business or a failing one.

Consider the industry in which clients of a recruitment agency operate. Is it the same as yours or radically different? “Are you industry-specific?” is also among the most common questions to ask companies offering recruitment services. However, you can specify it on your own while examining testimonials.

Besides, words may blind you, while statistics can open your eyes. Of course, most recruitment agencies flatter themselves, but only a low number can demonstrate their excellence using numbers.

Do you work on a contingency or retained basis?

A recruitment fee and payment process are vital questions to ask recruitment agencies. Companies usually predefine the budget they are ready to spend on recruitment services and the preferred payment approach.

Generally, in the recruitment industry, there are two ways how to pay for recruiting:

  • A contingency basis. Recruitment agencies that work on a contingency basis get paid after a submitted candidate receives a job offer.
  • A retained basis. Recruitment firms choosing a retained basis collect a partial feel before the beginning of the sourcing stage. After a submitted candidate is successfully placed, they get another part of the fee.

Both approaches have their benefits and challenges, but companies tend to prefer recruitment agencies working on a contingency basis. The reason is that this payment approach is less risky for businesses searching for new employees.
All the payment process steps and fees must be clearly defined in the beginning to avoid any misunderstanding and complications later. A contract should contain a thorough description, and both parties need to be straightforward, especially in the beginning, to make the most of their cooperation.


The process of choosing a recruitment partner may pose a lot of challenges. One of them is defining the right questions to ask recruitment agencies. Unfortunately, some businesses overlook this step, which may lead to a failure in cooperation.

Hence, we recommend preparing a list of questions to ask companies providing recruitment services before meeting their representatives if you do not want to waste your money and resources.

If you consider our agency as a potential partner, the AboutHR representatives will be glad to meet you and answer any questions.


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